Tributes of Praise to the Life, Work and Character of Hannibal's Greatest Son
4-23-10

The death of Samuel L. Clemens has called forth more tributes from distinguished men in all walks of life and all quarters of the globe than that of any other American in recent years. More extended reviews of his character and work are being prepared by leading literary men to be presented in connection with the memorial services which re to be held in many cities. The following are but a few of the many words of praise.

Joaquin Miller in "An Appreciation of Mark Twain":
"There is only one Mark Twain, thank goodness! I mean to say thank mightily for the one. But from the one and a thousand would-be Mark Twains, the good Lord deliver us. The meanest and most irritating thing in American literature is this smartness. And it is so unkind: as a rule personal, grossly rude: anything to make a laugh, no matter whom or how much it hurts."

Col. Thomas Wentworth Higglnaon-when he learned of Mark Twain's death:
"It is impossible to exaggerate the loss to the country. It is something unique in itself."
"The news of Mark Twain's death will be sad to many people. He was personally highly esteemed and much beloved; a man of letters with a very gentle gift of humor and serious thought as well."

Dean Walter A. Williams of School of Journalism University of Missouri:
"The University of Missouri recalls with pleasure that Mark Twain, a native Missourian, recycled the honorary degree of LL. D. from this university. This was in 1908, when the university orators, upon recommendation of the university faculty, conferred this degree, the highest honor which the university can bestow.
"It was a proper recognition of the greatest and most famous humorist that the State had produced, a writer whose genius reflects glory upon the entire commonwealth.
"The death of Mark Twain is a real loss to literature and American life.
"In Missouri it will be felt as a personal loss by thousands who never met Mark Twain, but knew him only through the delightful writings."

E. W. Stephens, Columbia, Mo., personal friend of Mark Twain-"Mark Twain was the most illustrious genius ever born in Missouri."
"His fame is not only world-wide, but it will be enduring. "As a humorist he easily stood at the head, and in literature he was the world's foremost figure."

T. Hopkinson Smith at Missouri banquet in New York City: "How sane and human he was. Never a line of his pen left a sting. There was nothing bitter. No sarcasm. He spent every year of his life better, doing the human thing. He himself was clean of heart. I ask you to stand and drink a silent toast to his memory.:

James Whitcomb Riley-"It is hard to imagine Mark Twain a dead man, he was so keenly alive and human. His humor was based on his inherent honor. Twain was a peculiar genius. He had a great dramatic genius. His Prince and the Pauper is a splendid example.

Theodore Roosevelt-"Mark Twain was one of the finest men America has produced. His life was marked with sincerity and breadth of view and his death causes the United States the loss of one of its finest citizens, as well as one of its best beloved authors."

Champ Clark-"Mark Twain was the greatest Missourian that ever lived and the greatest literary man that America ever produced."

Samuel G. Blythe-"Mark Twain was the greatest living American humorist when he was alive and he is the greatest dead American humorist now that he is dead."

Judge C. C. Goodwin-"Mark Twain lacked but six months and nine days of being 80 years old when he died. He was born Nov. 30, 1830. I know he asserted he was only 75, but when we were in Virginia City, Nov., he was older than i and I am 78."

Harper and Bros.-"Mark Twain died worth probably $1,000,000, even after he had sacrificed one great fortune to pay the debts of a bankrupt publishing firm. Even at this late day the works of Mark Twain are selling more rapidly than those of any author. Mr. Clemens will sell for years to come. In America we regard him only as a humorist. In Europe he is regarded as the greatest American philosopher. His books will live forever."

The death of Mark Twain is felt keenly in England. All the London papers pay high tribute to his memory today, and many of the foremost authors of Great Britain, including H. G. Wells, Thomas Hardy, Bernard Shaw, Conan Doyle, Anthony Hope and others, as well as Mr. Clemens' compatriot Henry James, voice their sorrow.

In New York a memorial service, rivaling any tribute paid to soldier or statesman, is planned for the dead author. Plans for the memorial call for a public service in the largest hall in New York. President Taft, Governor Hughes and Wm. Dean Howells will be asked to pay tribute.

Booth Tarkington-"He wrote the best American story, I think, "Huckleberry Finn." He seemed to me the greatest prose writer we had, and beyond that a great man. His death is a national loss, but we have the consolation that he and his genius belonged to and were of us.

"It has been said that humor cannot last, because humor is the most mutable of all tastes," he continued. "That which one generation laughs with, the next ridicules and laughs at. If true, this is owing to the fact that very little of the world's humor has for its essential qualities portrayal of human nature."

Charles Major-"Mark Twain created a new school of humor, the purpose of which was not only to be funny, but to be true. I knew him for many years, and I speak by the book of the man. He could write nothing that he did not at least feel to be true. All that he wrote was half fun and whole earnest. His heart was tender, therefore his humor held no sting, but bubbled with charity for every human fault save hypocrisy."
"His heart was full of mercy-seasoned justice, therefore his work is not a mere source of laughter, but a story-house of wholesome truths for every day humans use. His heart was full of love, therefore he will be buried beneath an avalanche seldom gone out from the heart of all men toward the bier of one. Everyone who loves gentleness and strength, tenderness and truth, funniness and love, will mourn because Mark Twain is dead, but a rich compensation is ours in the joy because of his love. For all these reasons and more the good that Mark Twain has done will live after him for many a generation to come."

George Ade-"Mark Twain's career was rounded out to the satisfaction of his most ardent admirers. A harum-scarum boy in a river town, a cub pilot, a ramblin journalist, a mining prospector, a writer of funny books, a traveler, a lecturer, a reader of men, a destroyer of shams, a preacher of common sense, a master of romance, a great literary artist, a ripened scholar and finally a world-honord patriot.
"He wrote about Americans so as to let us know of our weaknesses and follies and extravagances and yet he never seemed to be ashamed of us and never caused us to be ashamed of ourselves. The charm of his storytelling has been conceded by everyone who reads English, but when his work is summed up he will be called a great satirist, a preacher and a reformer. I met him at his home once and attended the wonderful dinner on his seventieth anniversary. My admiration for him and his work could not be set forth in ordinary language."








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